It's hard to know what to think of an editorial that contends that being the son of a congressman is a qualification for that office, but the Winona Daily News is totally impressed by Republican primary challenger Jim Hagedorn.
In Hagedorn smart to re-enter GOP race, editor Brian Voering writes on behalf of the board:
Hagedorn is a Washington insider with a family political pedigree (his father was a four-term congressman in the district in the 1970s and early 1980s). He has legislative experience, clearly defined policies and positions, a sharp wit and thick skin, and knows how to raise money and run a campaign. All else aside, somehow you’d think that would make him the best candidate by far to emerge from the 1st District in recent years.
The Republican activists of the district didn’t seem to think so, opting instead for a guy who pays for campaign travels with a credit card and trips on every campaign plank he attempts to lay. So it’s hard to blame Hagedorn for getting so fed up with the choice — with every recent choice — that he threw party unity to the wind and took it upon himself to offer a correction to the party’s direction in the district. We’re not convinced Hagedorn is some kind of white knight, but it’s good to see somebody making the effort.
This is curious stuff. In his 2010 bid, which ended with the endorsement of Randy Demmer, Hagedorn raised $29,620.00 for the cycle. In the current cycle, Hagedorn raised $33,470.00 by the end of March.
Miller has raised $152,007.50 in the cycle, of which $120,000.00 is from loans; he has received $32,007.50 contributions. Hagedorn's non-self funding isn't much ahead of Miller as far as fundraising goes, and we suspect that with endorsement, his fundraising has improved--and the next quarterly reports, due to be released in July, should settle this question by mid-July, well in advance of the August primary.
Nor are Miller's contributions to his own campaign unusual. In 2008, Brian Davis lent money to his campaign, in 2010, Randy Demmer (who came closest to defeating Walz) lent money to his campaign, and in 2012, Quist lent his campaign money.
Perhaps the best contrast for Miller and Hagedorn's paltry dollars come from Walz's first campaign reports in the 2005-2006 cycle when the Mankato school teacher was a complete unknown and the Smart People were all a-chatter with the good fortunes that the DFL had with Patty Wetterlin running in the Sixth and Coleen Rowley in the Second.
Walz had raised $245,160.53 by March 31, 2006.
Moreover, while the paper mentions Miller's evolution flap, the Winona Daily News elides Hagedorn's own weirdness as a blogger during his "Mr. Conservative" years. Hagedorn thought it funny to write about alleged voter fraud in South Dakota by writing "the only good Indian is a dead Indian."
Perhaps the Winona Daily News finds that sort of thing more acceptable than the decades-old remarks by Allen Quist that are mentioned in the editorial. Or maybe it's his photo op with a cardboard cutout ofProgressive Insurance Company fictospokesperson Flo that won them over.
Photo: Jim Hagedorn, able to raise a few dollars more than Miller.
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